LIVING THE DREAM, Part 25: “What’s Going On with ‘da ‘Zon?’

August 1, 2018

When FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS went live on Amazon in August 8. 2017, the reviews — mostly five-stars with a couple of respectful four-star ones thrown in — filtered through my ‘author IV’ almost daily.  With the wisdom of one checking a pot of water put on to boil, I checked the numbers once a day, celebrating each new reader I met and review I received.

About two months ago, I began to see a drop in the number of reviews by one or two at a time followed by another one or two. So I typed the Amazon Customer Review Team an email in the box they provided. So I referred to the general reasons that reviews are removed. In order to shorten the list, I have grouped them together, as follows:

  • obscene or abusive language
  • threats
  • off-topic reviews
  • self-promotional material

None of the reviews I read fit any of those categories. So, I wondered what was going on, and asked my fellow authors if they were having the same problem.

The other day when I was reporting this issue to someone else during a phone conversation, she and I agreed that Amazon should not be penalizing authors for reviewers’ errors. Not only is it not fair, it’s downright dirty. She told me that another author she knew actually calling a representative of the Amazon Customer Review team on the phone and addressing his concerns about the matter. All he was told was that someone would ‘check on it’. I, too, have voiced my concerns to Amazon. After a few days, a team member would send a list of general possible reasons.

We authors endure labor pains as do mothers-to-be, only our deliveries last months and years instead of seconds, minutes, and hours. My labor over FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS began as a larger work as I was on a plane over Port Aransas, Texas, in January 2009, on the way home to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and culminated in August 2017 — nine years later with a shipment of glossy, green copies of my book.

Our books, the fruit of our imaginations, are as precious, in their own way as the ‘fruits of our loins’, a.k.a our children, are in theirs. Only in the movies do authors become instantly ‘stinkin’ rich’ upon the publication of their books. For the most part, many — if not most — of us also feel that reviews trickle out like drops from a clogged hose.

Let’s face it. Life gets in our faces every day. People get busy with families, jobs, vacations, or hospital stays. Although, in ‘the heat of the moment’, as they are clutching our finished efforts that they promise to read and review, the truth of the matter is that they soon get on with their own lives. It happens to all of us.

Has it happened to you? Below is a link that should lead you to the page where you can type in a short customer review. Once you arrive at that page, scroll down until you see a yellow customer review button to click for leaving a review. It does not need to be long or of professional quality. After all, customer reviews are not book reports. Rather, they are a few words about what you liked about FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS.In order to leave a review, all Amazon asks is for you to become a verified customer. If you don’t have an account with them, you can set one up for no charge.,

I love meeting my new readers! Thanks, in advance, for your support. I look forward to hearing from you.

What’s coming up next? Who knows? I’m working on several ideas. Any one of them will be a pleasant surprise!

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LIVING THE DREAM, Part 9: A Gentle Nudge

12-17-17

Here we are, already, December 17! One month and three days after the Official Launch of FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS.  Now that all the initial ‘hoo-rah’ is over, I can lean back, kick my feet up, pop the top on a ‘cold one’, and relax, right?

Whoa. Not even quite.

For now the real work begins: continuing the promotion of my debut novel myself with regular book-signings and random “share and show” sales that happen when I share my card and my story with prospective readers and show them the actual  book (of which I  “happen” to carry a copy or two with me in my backpack because I’m as subtle as a Sherman tank roaring through the streets of Comfort).

Last Friday, I did just that while my husband and I browsed the booths at Fredericksburg Trade Days in Fredericksburg, Texas. When we stopped to talk to a retired veteran, Donald, and admire his WWII memorabilia, I “showed and shared” my book with him, since its story begins in  1950s Lamesa, Texas and ends in 1970s Fort Worth. In its own way, it has been classified by Amazon as “Historical”, also.

In spite of the fact that the 6X9X.5″ soft-cover version of FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS, printed in eyeball-friendly fourteen-point font presently ranks at in the forty-fourth percentile out of over 8,000,000 books and the Kindle version, available for a paltry ninety-nine cents for a limited time ranks forty-four percent out of  over 1,000,000  books, they have yet to make it to the first page of Amazon books or even the second or third in the top three sub-genres of Twentieth-Century Historical, Action-Adventure.

Yes, so far, with every positive (preferably 5-star) review I receive, my book advances through the ranks of others similar to it in its genre.You really should go to my Amazon site and check out the progress it has made. Still, it strains toward that “Top 100 books” mark. Even better is to see it show up on the first page or two of, say, suspense fiction novels.

Members of my  “tribe” — fellow novelists — already know this. Every positive review boosts a book in rank from one million (if the book is an ebook) or eight million (for soft-covers) up toward the Top 100 and then, even better, closer to the first or second page of books of the same genre. The reason is simple: that not many readers will feel like advancing all the way to page 800 or beyond for a particular book unless they are really, really searching for it.

Now, this is where I can use your help:

  • Read the book (or even most of it)
  • Go to Amazon.com. Choose the “books” category and type in From Her Mother’s Arms by Kim Terry.
  • Click through the picture of the book cover (where it says “Look Inside”. Clicking through that book will “verify” you as a customer.
  • Write a favorable review on Amazon (five-stars will do quite nicely — wink, wink.)  If you have not read to the end of the book, leave a short review anyway. Did you like it? If so, what did you like most about it?)
  • Include a headline that sums up your review of FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMSfor other readers.

I love being an author because I love writing novels that people love to read and wrap around themselves. After reading “The End”, following up by writing a review is one more important baby-step.

Thanks to everyone who has bought and reviewed the book that  I have labored over since 2009 and finally published in 2017.  I  celebrate with every positive review  I have received. If you have not read FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS, now is the time to gift yourself with it, or if you are still reading it or have just now come to “The End”,  please  take the time to leave a brief review.

Thanks, so much!

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